As announced, we held Ohloh Community Day 2014 — OCD14 — on Monday, March 24, 2014. This being our very first community day, it being announced barely three weeks before the event, and the concurrent running of Open Source Think Tank all meant that we had modest expectations. Quite frankly, if we had one or two people more than the outstanding Marc Laporte, who suggested holding a community day to coincide with the Libre Planet conference in Cambridge, MA , we would have been quite happy.
At it happened, we had six guests and five folks from Black Duck — some on Ohloh team, and some not. We were ecstatic with this turn out!
Folks showed up between 9 and 10 and we noshed while chatting and making introductions. Marc brought some of his colleagues with him. Everyone had a lot to offer and no one was shy about speaking up and adding to the conversation. We were terribly sad to end the day and wished we had longer to spend with all the friends who showed up!
There were lots of great ideas, suggestions and observations about FLOSS, OSS and Ohloh. At the top was the suggestion that we hold an annual community event and find two or three other times throughout the year to hold an online webinar with updates and user feedback. We like that idea!
One of the suggestions that we’ve immediately added to our backlog is a feature request to upload a project logo by URL instead of having to download copy of the project logo just to have a file to upload.
Another solid suggestion was to allow certain Ohloh users to have greater permissions on Ohloh.net so that they could act as community moderators and assist in maintaining Ohloh in manners that only Ohloh administrators can do today. This is very attractive in a number of manners.
For one, we are looking at how we can make Ohloh more usable by FLOSS and OSS consumers. Right now we do a great job of addressing the FLOSS and OSS contributor. While many contributors are also consumers (dare we conjecture “most” or even “probably all”?), there are many FLOSS and OSS consumers who are simply looking for good software that will meet their needs. We want to do better on Ohloh in helping these consumers of FLOSS and open source find what they are looking for. Building more ways to promote interactions between account holders is at the heart of this idea and having community moderators participate in the outreach is a very exciting idea for us.
Another reason we really like the idea of community moderators is that folks like Marc Laporte have been using Ohloh long before Black Duck’s stewardship and are very passionate about the value, purpose and promise of FLOSS and OSS. These Ohloh account holders take a leadership role in maintaining Ohloh — making sure projects have logos, reasonable tags, up to date repository information and have not been duplicated. Ohloh was always envisioned as a community maintained resource. Making sure these passionate Ohloh account holders have the tools to make Ohloh the very best it can be is an idea long overdue.
Here is just one more idea: we want to separate the landing page experience for folks who are logged in from those who are not. Right now, everyone who visits www.ohloh.net sees the same page, regardless of whether or not they are logged in. We want to change that. When you are logged in to Ohloh, you should be able to choose what you’d like to see. Some ideas include your own Account page, a favorited project page, or search results page (projects, accounts or organizations), or even the last page you were viewing. We also want to tell you — once — about what is new on Ohloh since your last visit.
There are literally well over a dozen other ideas, some that will take some significant work. We are already slotting in some of the ideas near the top of our backlog and will proudly announce them when they are deployed. Since one of them is the trio of webinars, we will have ample opportunities to keep the Ohloh community informed of how these and other ideas are progressing.
Once again, thank you so very much to everyone who came and spent the day with us. OCD14 was a great start to what we would like to be a regular and annual event!